Mini Reviews #2

 

Mini Reviews #2Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Published: September 15th 2015
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three-half-stars

Recklessly loyal.

That’s how seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley has always thought of herself. Caring for her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But lately she’s grown resentful of everyone—including her needy best friend and her absent mom—taking her loyalty for granted.

Then Arden stumbles upon a website called Tonight the Streets Are Ours, the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter, who gives voice to feelings that Arden has never known how to express. He seems to get her in a way that no one else does, and he hasn’t even met her. Until Arden sets out on a road trip to find him.

During one crazy night out in New York City filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

I liked this book, I did. I wasn’t crazy in love with it like I had wanted to be after This Song Will Save Your Life, but I liked it. Arden grew a lot in this story. She saw how she wasn’t who she thought she was and that there was more to her than expected. That was the part that I really enjoyed. What I didn’t like was the Peter part and the “stalking” him in NYC part and his reaction. Personally I found his reaction to the whole thing just odd. It didn’t make sense to me that he would be so calm that someone that found him online went to the length Arden did to meet him. That was strange to me. But all in all this was a good book. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. It did make me want a Just Like Me doll, real bad. 😉

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Mini Reviews #2First & Then by Emma Mills
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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three-half-stars

Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m not really sure what to say about this one that hasn’t been said already. I guess I should start with the fact that I wanted to shake Devon A LOT! She was super judgmental most of the time and it got on my nerves. But the great things about books are the judgmental main characters usually grow and change by the end of the story and Devon certainly did that. She started to open her eyes and see what was what and that she may have over romanticized some situations. When she started to be less of a snob she was actually pretty likable. And I loved her with Ezra and her interaction with Foster, her cousin. That was the highlight for me. I know a lot of people LOVED this book and I think many more will too. I will admit I’m not a huge Jane Austen fan so that might be why I was over the moon for First and Then, but I definitely really liked it. You should check it out if you haven’t already.

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 Mini Reviews #2Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Poppy
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two-stars

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

This was possibly one of the most depressing books I have read in a long time. I mean I don’t know if I didn’t connect with it because I never did the leaving for college thing or the potential break-up because of distance thing, but Clare depressed the crap out of me. She was such doom and gloom through just about every page. She over reacted to everything and expected Aidan to have all the answers and it really got on my nerves. I had to remind myself a few times that I was reading about teenagers which is not something I enjoy when I read a book. I prefer to just read it and not worry about ages but I couldn’t do it with this book. The side characters were the bright spot for me (and the end which I wish there was more of in the book). They were way more interesting and weren’t wrapped up in themselves so much. I mean I was 50% in and *I* wanted to break-up with Clare. I should have trusted my gut when I saw the mixed reviews but I didn’t and found out the hard way that this book was not for me.

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Review: This Song Will Save Your Life – Leila Sales

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Title: This Song Will Save Your Life [Amazon]
Author: Leila Sales [website]
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Contemporary
Source/Type: Netgalley/eGalley
Stars: 4.5 of 5

Publisher Description:
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

My Thoughts:
I wasn’t really expecting much when I started this one. Honestly I have trouble with books that are music-centric as I’m not much of a hardcore music listener myself. The books I have read in the past were mostly just okay. I didn’t feel much for the main characters or the plot so I was kind of meh going into this one. But I had heard such wonderful things I went for it anyway. And truthfully, This Song Will Save Your Life has changed my thoughts on music-centric books. It was fantastic and I read it in next to no time at all.

This Song Will Save Your Life is the story of Elise, a quirky teenager that no one seems to get. All Elise wanted was to have a different life, to be noticed, for people to care. She wanted to have friends and be popular and get asked to dances. She wanted to fit in with fashion and pop culture and boys. She wanted to be a normal teen. Instead she was bullied and made fun of even when she tried to make over herself. Not really knowing what to do she makes a decision to give up and when things don’t go as planned Elise finds herself wandering around the streets until she comes upon an underground warehouse party. Pretty soon Elise finds a place for herself with these people that seem to not need sleep and finds a love for something she never considered, DJing. But now that she has found her place will she be able to keep it?

Elise made me want to hug her so bad. She was just so uncertain about everything she did. She had parents that were supportive and told her it was okay to march to the beat of her own drum and she resented that, resented them, because it made her stand out. People thought she looked down on them and thought she was better than them when really all Elise wanted was to be one of them. What they saw as snobbery was really jealousy. I really wanted to yell into the book, well my eReader, and tell Elise it was okay to be different. It was okay to be herself and to not be one of the ‘popular’ people. I swear no one was happier than me when she found that club and found people that didn’t care about anything other than the fact that they weren’t alike and had found comfort in those differences. And her friendship with Vicky was really amazing.  Even with all that stuff I loved, there was one part that stood out for me that really made Elise the fabulous character that she was…her new found talent for DJing.

When you are feeling down about yourself they always say to find something you are good at and something you love to do, and Elise did just that. Minus some of the weird stuff with Char, that I’m still not sure how I felt about (hence the 4.5 star rating), he taught her the ropes on something she genuinely loved and had no idea she would be so good at. Elise found her niche in that underground club and it was truly enjoyable to read.

Basically This Song Will Save Your Life is really an uplifting book about hitting rock bottom and picking yourself up and finding what you love and that it is okay not to be like everyone else. Being different is what makes us us and there is always something out there that can raise someone just as quickly has the air deflated out of them. Sales wrote a complex story of figuring out who you are but did it with class and grace and this is a book that everyone should pick up. After all it might just save you in some way, shape or form.

Other Books By the Author:
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